Recorded in nine days on a Norwegian island New Model Army return with an album steeped in their unique sound with the unmistakable figure of Justin Sullivan leading the charge. With a more traditional sounding or should that be classic sounding New Model Army on ‘From Here’. It seems like an age when the band first announced pre-sales for this record and after releasing a couple of videos for tracks such as ‘Never Arriving’ my excitement started to peak for what the album might turn out like. With a more earthy and classic sounding arrangments, New Model Army have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into another record and the reward for the listener is twelve songs as good as anything in the band’s arsenal thus far.  From the synth-laden opener ‘Passing Through’ it’s a slow burner as the intro fades and the band harks back to a feeling they first laid on audiences way back in the ’80s and Justins narrating vocal is as warm and weathered as ever and as engaging as you’d want it to be.  The track, however, doesn’t open up but merely sets the tone.  Maybe this is something of the mature big brother to ‘Thunder And consolation’ as the acoustic guitar midway through this six-minute epic opener links with the rhythmic drumming before the crunching heaving electric guitar joins the fray.

As far as openers go this is huge and the tone of ‘From Here’ is set. ‘Never Arriving’ is also over five minutes long as Sullivan takes us through his spoken rather than sung lyrics.  The band might have chosen a bleak environment to record in but this record sounds driven and whilst complex its a record that will take some investing in. Sure fans of the band will take that time and give it the attention it deserves but I doubt Justin is looking nor cares for instant fleeting engagement. If you know you know.

There are no two-minute pop songs here rather post four minutes as a rule but the sprightly tempo of ‘The Weather’ with its acoustic strumming is a different texture to the two previous numbers the instruments weave like knotted branches so NMA yet unique and bloody good.

 

I’ve alluded to the fact this record for some reason harks back to the classic heights of ‘Green And Grey’ period for the band although Sullivan is the sole torch-carrier of the band these days it’s in the makeup and ‘End Of Days’ is uptempo and the first track that was released from the record and is a great addition to the catalogue of thumpers written and released by the band.

‘Great Disguise’ builds and builds as Sullivan paints his landscape in your mind’s eye whereas ‘Conversation’ is big broad strokes of that familiar acoustic guitar mixed with rhythmic drums and a story unfolds of travel and landscape earth and water. Sullivan has always done well to paint bleak and cold portraits but in a warm and engaging way it’s what he does really well and this is a great example.

‘Hard Way’ is a darker slower introduction that spends the next four minutes building up and up to layered vocals and heaving bass throb but quickly drops back something of a bloodletting before ushering in ‘Watch And Learn’ with its more aggressive thrust.

‘Maps’ is timpani and cello and maybe driven by the recordings environment with a sense of where you are captured within its tracks as Sullivan sings about his surroundings.  Ending the record with the title track ‘From Here’ is eight minutes of soundscape and sparse piano before the familiar tribal drum patterns signal a rumbling Bassline but you’ll have to wait almost five minutes before an electric guitar chimes in and pierces the trance-like rhythm.

Like I mentioned earlier this might not be the record you want to make your New Model Army debut maybe lock into the best of then come and visit ‘From HEre’ and the experience will be far more rewarding.  Old fans – fill yer boots this is a journey that will take you through multiple emotions pick you up and put you down but always leave you coming back for more.  I’ve enjoyed thus far dipping in here and there and equally immersing from start to finish.  ‘From Here’ will not dissapoint.

Buy ‘From Here’: Here

Author: Dom Daley

The Professor and the Madman aren’t household names in the Punk Rock, Power Pop fraternity, although they should be. Not just because former Damned drummer Rat Scabies has played on all three of the band’s studio albums or for the latest “Disintegrate Me”.  Rat’s bass playing former colleague Paul Gray lends his considerable talent to it, but because the mainstays of Alfie Agnew and Sean Elliot have just as much Punk cred, having been in the likes of D.I. and The Adolescents and exuded more DIY ethos than both Wickes and B&Q combined.

The birth of this live album deserves a whole section dedicated it itself; publishing approval, Art(?) Work(??) copyright issues, Pressing problems and almost the final nail in the coffin PledgeMusic that had the band putting their hands in their own pockets to fulfill the orders, but enough of the back story let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of The Professor and the Mad Man live at the 100 Club album.

The album was recorded just over a year ago at, obviously, the legendary 100 Club in Oxford Street where Messers Gray and Scabies would be playing together live, something that they hadn’t done since July 1992 when the Damned were either departing or reforming. The twelve tracks that make up this 50 minute album span the bands 3 album career to date with “Peace Bombs” from the “Elixir II – Election” album leading straight into a cover of US Power Pop band 20/20’s “Nuclear Boy” and then “Nightmare” that had me thinking that the band have arranged the setlist as some sort of post-apocalyptic concept. It’s almost as if this live album should’ve been a studio one, no doubt to thanks to various Streaming Services it can be. Even the cover of Eddie and the Hot Rods “Quit This Town”, that features a guest appearance from former Hot Rods guitarist Graeme Douglas, lends weight to this. Either that or this is The Professor and the Mad Man’s stab at their own version of The Monkees “Head” soundtrack done live; brilliantly off the rails but bang on the money. The production is super well balanced; you can hear everybody and everything, no one is too loud or understated. The only thing missing is the crowd appreciation and reaction between songs, until “Quit This Town”, where it springs into life, before mysteriously receding into the background; I was at the gig and remember the crowd to have been on the lively, boisterous side with a lot more stories and antidotes between songs (Adam Ant) and I’m sure “Electroconvulsive Therapy” was the penultimate track and not, as on the CD, the last. Maybe that’s why it fades out?

Overall, it’s a great snapshot of something special that at the time was billed as “For One Night Only”. However, with Alfie, Sean, Paul and Rat working on new material I hope to see “A Welcome Return” sometime next year.

Author: Armitage Smith

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When you get your debut album Produced by Flood (PJ Harvey, New Order, Foals) you have to e onto something don’t you? An album that features three singles already released from the band  “Feeling Fades”, “Green & Blue” & “Don’t Cling To Life” as well as their breakthrough song ‘More Is Less’.  Its give you a fairly panoramic vision of how the band sound.

post-rock on the two-part ‘Slowdance’, to the slower,  ‘On Twisted Ground’ a song about loss and keeping your friends close is simple in its bass notes leading the way. To finish the band lay into some industrial throb of the albums sign off ‘Love, Love, Love’, Its an extremely confident album that’ll see The Murder Capital hoover up an audience because at times I hear early U2 (don’t let that put you off) and that’s not a lazy connection due to their geographic existence.  They also touch on Joy Division and I’m also hearing shades of New Model Army thrown into the melting pot as well as a whole bunch of other bands I get flashes of.

There are times when it feels cold and bleak and other times it feels crushing and warm and every available space is filled with noise and that’s not an easy thing to do.  Especially not from a band on their first album. The album’s opener is better dressed than Idles but I guess comparisons will be made. ‘More Is Less’ is like a late-night bare-knuckle street brawl when the guitars kick in and there is an excitement captured in the music. Its an album you’ll have to invest some time in to get to grips with its widescreen appeal and one I can see peeling back track after track like an onion revealing different layers with every play. It’s easy to see how Flood wanted to produce this record and a fantastic job he’s done too.

About to head out the door to tour the backside of this album The Murder Capital are reaching for the stars and they might just catch themselves some.  An amazingly confident and complete debut in the field of alt post-punk or whatever you want to call it.

 

Buy When I Have Fears Here

Author: Dom Daley

‘Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres’ will have many rushing for the exit and some will stick around and check it out whilst others are true believers that Doherty was handed the baton of real rock and rollers who always find what they’re looking for even if they don’t quite know what it is they are looking for.  They manage to write with great talents to interpret what’s coming out of their mind and who just click and make all the madness sound cohesive and at times quite beautiful,  it’s fair to say the record at times is intimate with tales of love, loss, happiness, tragedy, addiction and work on many levels. The album was recorded live to capture the essence and spirit of the Puta Madres at a family home overlooking a fishing village in Étretat, Normandy, over four days in the summer of 2018. so as the needle drops we are gently led into ‘All At Sea’ with the unmistakable wavering vocals of Doherty. The band are given the room to breathe and at times I’m reminded of albums like Dylans ‘Blood On the Tracks’ and Velvet Underground for the loose arrangments and use of instruments (ok so this might not stack up to those two albums but you get the gist).

‘Whose Been Having You Over’ has a galic flavour and once you lock into the groove its a majestic thing with some fine guitar work from Jones and Doherty and as the first track the violin of Miki Beavis is exceptional and add eastern flavours. ‘Paradise Is Under Your Nose’ is Dohertys finest five minutes and his duet with Jack Jones is on another level for a quite beautiful song.

The autobiographical ‘Narcissistic Teen Makes First XI ‘ is classic dreamy Doherty.  I promise the payback from this album is massive if you invest a bit of time and energy into it.  sure I can see how people will play it once and call it a shambles I get that but give it a chance.  There’s a gentle hand at work here and Doherty sounds content and comfortable with the musicians he’s assembled around him for this record as they play around his relaxed skiffle on tracks like ‘A Fool There Was’ as that gypsy violin leads a merry dance.

It’s not The Libertines and its not his loudest record but it might just be his best.

Author: Dom Daley

Buy Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres Here

The Kritikal Beatdown continues as Black Gladiator and Slovenly Recordings present the second album from Athens via Crete dynamic duo HAND & LEG. The new LP is called “Lust In Peace” and it advances the post-punk infused concoction of blazing garage and art-driven destructo-rock as established on their grinding debut. Murky shades of sexual negativity plow forth with the help of white-hot distortion, alternating between soul-crushing fuzz bass dirges, ungodly squalls of noise, and occasional playful rhythmic rituals that offer brief respite from the saturation of musical sadism.” 

That’s the labels blurb taken care of as we turn up the speakers to furniture shaking levels to get the full experience of this headfuck of a record. after ‘Faux’ sort of give you a peek behind the curtain its ‘Softyhead’ where shit gets interesting as we get the ying and yang of the garage rock clashing head-on with the post-punk grind but that’s only the aperitif for ‘L.I.P’ (fuck knows what’s going on here) but its loud and I mean LOUD! as the guitar fuzz hacks and slashes whilst the vocals are Numan like monotonous and flat in their delivery until the chorus when things sound like a nuclear reactor gone out of control.

This album twists and turns as it tries to find a comfortable place whilst scratching at the listener.  I daren’t ask what the lyrical content is about I’d rather just enjoy the noise pouring out of my speakers.  Take ‘Grave Gravy’ for instance its creeps into existence and your just waiting for the breakout but its more subtle than that or so you think.

At times this ten-track assault on the ears can be a challenge as the brain struggles to cope with the audio bombs going off left right and centre and the duo revel in the attack. ‘Shoplift’ doesn’t sound like a good experience and not a soundtrack you’d have liked playing whilst fingering the pick and mix in woolies.  Having said that ‘Peter Pancake’ is someone we’d all like to get to know.  Iro and Stelios have delivered a post-punk garage meets art-rock album that will fuck with you play after play. I’m guessing they like to fuck with the listener but with a cheeky wink here and there and some serious ringing in one’s ear.  The art rock crowd of the lower east side would have been all over this one and a perfect touring partner for VU has finally arrived decades too late ho-hum check out hand and leg the crazy fuckers.

Author: Dom Daley

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Slovenly Recordings presents the latest full-length hunk o’ junk from San Francisco’s last standing Budget Rockers THE CONTROL FREAKS! Remember a time when bands like The Ramones pumped out albums full of sing-a-long singles that you could jump around to well, The Control Freaks do that.  From the opening explosion of the title track, we’re off and running.  Its garage punk with plenty of pop sing-a-longs.  count in 1-2-3-4 and the wonderfully titled ‘I Hate Your Face’ muscles in.  it’s full of bluster and has a wonderful garage rock rattle.  What’s not to like?

‘Elevator Girl’ kicks off with a dirty overdriven bass before steaming off.

‘Telephone City’ seems to be the catalyst to up the insanity a notch or two as shit gets faster and a little more out of control. ‘Hate List’ takes it up a notch or two with added madness.

So yeah, like, It’s fair to say this record is packed with hit after smash hit like “I Hate Your Face,”  ‘Creep You Out’ is on the level with some top tub-thumping and sleazy guitar slashing. ‘I Am Crime’ thrashes about some more if you haven’t already had enough. and you might need A ‘First Aid Kit’ it might come in handy at some point if you’re slamming around to these tunes and the cheap keys are gonna drive you insane. Its ferocious and sweetness rolled into one take ‘Time Out’ with some sweet vocals over an absolute banger that Dee Dee would have been proud to have penned. 

‘Dowanna Love’ is the first, (yup I did say first) cover on the album by Babeez Greg takes the vocals here whilst the second comes as the penultimate and more laid back (really) ‘Nobody Wants Me’ where Sherrilynn Nelson takes the vocals and delivers the best sultry Debbie Harry style vocals for thirty years on this dark lo-fi slice of scuzzy rock.

This is one of the most consistent garage punk albums I’ve had the pleasure of in quite a while. Why would anyone mess with Jessica? she sounds a handful.  Thirteen tunes crammed onto one album with every conceivable bit of space filled to the gills with rock and roll noise noise noise.  I love it and you will too.  Go get some kids you won’t be disappointed and if you are then I suggest Rock and Roll just isn’t for you either that or you might want to check for a pulse.

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Author: Dom Daley

Canada continues to churn out the finest in punk rock anywhere on the globe (sorry flat earthers) Blink and you might miss this one as Slovenly knock out four tunes in just over five minutes pressed onto wax. Its Sore Points first release on Slovenly and the Vancouver punks aren’t hanging around here folks this is like blunt trauma frenzy punk attack.  First up is the fuzz fest of ‘Not Alright’ – to the point its like an audio punch in the face and before you can gather your composure were into ‘On The Wire’ and Sore Points are like a frantic frenzied loon just rabbit punching the listener round the ears.

Pause, deep breath and flip this bad boy over as ‘One More thing’ is up with its rolling riff but they have saved the best till last with the brutal ‘Not Coming Back’ which just slays with its rough riff-a-rama. it’s brief, it’s brutal but its good and Slovenly don’t do bad records and to get on a label like this you have to deliver so its a no brainer, buy Sore Points end of.  A long player should be the next target and the sooner the better.  CEO of Slovenly please make this happen thank you kindly RPM

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Author: Dom Daley

Andy Caffrey is the man behind CR Dicks and thats good enough for me, That and being on Slovenly is an endorsement in itself.  I haven’t got a clue about the name either and its probably best not to ask.

What does the record sound like I hear you howling at the screen? Well, its a fucked up fuzzy slice of walking on the Wildside it’s got hip hop fuzzed-out blues distortion of some description (‘What Kind’) the vocals are howled through a tunnel by the sound of it as are the sporadic and chaotic backing vocals and there’s crazy sax honkin (played by none other than Pete Balestrieri, ex-VIOLENT FEMMES) and some slick and sick funky bass slapping its way through these choppy waters. It just works and you need to trust me on this.  Turn it up then when it gets uncomfortable turn it up a little more – that’s the fella. 

 

‘Tweaker Of The House’ is something Beck was able to write many moons ago but not as street and dangerous sounding as this. Imagine a noisy garage-punk – hip-hop hybrid with just enough dirty Beastie Boys meets Jon Spenser. Sounds interesting, right? of course, it’s intimidating but “Dick Moves” isn’t sweetness and light it’s not Coldplay nor safe like Noels High Flying Birds this is cutting edge and music to fuck you up. It’s demented  ‘Therythmethod’ will fuck you up if the volume is right. It’s not helped much when the lo-fi of ‘Red Moped’ enters the fray with its Suicide-lite drum machine beats and hushed vocals but wait it’s destroyed when ‘Skate To Die’ explodes through the speakers all thrashing distorted guitars and fucked up vocals burst through the speakers. 

Its probably for the best that ‘Black Girlfriend’ is the final track such is the sonic assault taking place but for the next three minutes you’re taken on a garage rock road trip of the finest kind.  What a scorcher to end up on its discord juddering rhythm is the perfect way to sign off.  I guess we’ll see Andy in about another ten years when he’s got enough for another journey through the darker side of Rock and Roll for us, but we’ll all sign up for the trip thought right? Fuckin’ right we will! my bag is already packed for the ride.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

 

 

 

Let me start this by painting a little image in your head.

The year is 2004. I’ve just finished school for the summer and I can’t wait to waste the rainy days indoors blasting Kerrang TV. I’ll always remember seeing the music videos for Fat Lip and In Too Deep way way back in the day, they made quite an impression on this edgy little 10-year-old.

 

It was about a year later when I managed to get the albums All Killer No Filler, Half Hour of Power and Does This Look Infected? (I say get because I had to rely on my old man buying me CD’s, No sales clerk is gonna sell an 11-year-old an album with the opening track “Grab the Devil by the Horns and **** Him up the *** … Oh the curse of parental advisory, I do not miss it.) I can’t remember how many times I had played tracks like Still Waiting, Makes no Difference and Summer but I’m sure the repeat button on my walkman hated me.

 

Sum 41 are still kicking after all these years however with Order in Decline, their most recent work. We’re greeted with the opening track Turning Away. It’s not how I expected the album to start, put it that way. Catchy riffs and sequences are present, the chorus and the guitar solo (which is killer by the way) add a bit more energy to it but it still feels a bit lackluster as an opening track.

 

Two of the more stand-out tracks for me have to be Out for Blood and A Death In The Family. Both of these songs are borrowing from the style of the 2004 album Chuck. Not to mention these songs are pretty heavy for a punk band, with double bass beats and riffs that go hard. Around the midsection of the album is where we start to get some of the more groove-oriented tracks such as Heads will Roll and 45 (A Matter of Time). Already in five or so tracks Sum 41 are really showing that they’re not afraid to branch out into a number or different styles and subgenres, showcasing how they’ve developed as musicians over the years. Albeit with the departure of Stevo 32 some years back.

 

After a brief slow down in tempo and mood with the song Never there, we’re thrust straight back into the groove-fueled Eat You Alive, and then another personal favourite from this record The People Vs… This track is an absolute beast of punk riffs and drumming, Deryck’s vocals really shine on this track due to the grimey punk aesthetic. The final track on the album Catching fire also feels a bit lackluster. I’m not gonna lie it sounds like pop music, but I’m sure there’s something there for every sort of fan, albeit new or old.

 

All in all this record showcases much of the band’s diversity and how they’ve developed their musical style over the years. There’s something here in this record for everyone, whether you’re a fast-tempo high energy punk fanatic, a groove-heavy rock and roller, or even someone who enjoys the slower types of songs. You’ll be able to find something to enjoy in this album. I do think the track listing feels a little confused, however, Personally I’d have moved some of the songs around just so the album flows a bit better, instead of the more random nature of styles bouncing back and forth as you get deeper into the record. Some might argue that the order of songs are there as “Palate Cleansers” but It’s a bit too much for me personally. As an older fan of Sum 41, I did enjoy the record in whole. It’s great to see a band I grew up with still kicking and still producing great tracks.

Buy Order In Decline Here

Author: Adam Hatherway

The 40th-anniversary of the Ramones’ first live album, ‘It’s Alive’, will be marked on Sept. 20 with the release of a six-disc version containing three unreleased concert recordings from the same tour.  The benchmark for all live albums ‘Its Alive’ was always going to follow previous Ramones albums with the book style Rhino treatment and welcome it is too.

A previously unreleased version of “Blitzkrieg Bop,” included in the four-CD/two-LP package, which is presented in a hardcover book. You can listen to the track here.

‘It’s Alive: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition’ includes all four concerts that were professionally recorded during the Ramones’ U.K. tour in December 1977. Three of them make their debut on this set: Top Rank at Birmingham on Dec. 28, Victoria Hall in Stoke-On-Trent from Dec. 29, Friars at Aylesbury, from Dec. 30 and the Rainbow Theatre in London on Dec. 31.

The new edition will be limited to a run of 8,000 copies and will also be made available via digital and streaming services. This also marks the first time ‘It’s Alive’ has been available on vinyl in the U.S.